Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 14th, 2013 - Who The Leffe Are You?!

How 'bout a Sunday afternoon pairing for ya from your pal, the Meista?  This pairing goes out to friend of the blog, Matteo from across the pond... cheers mate and thanks for the request!!  Today we are pairing a Leffe Blonde from Abbaye de Leffe S.A. with The Who's "Who Are You."

The Leffe Blonde is a Belgian pale that pours a translucent, light golden wheat hue with a big, 2-finger foamy head.  The nose is characterized by soft banana, clove, pink bubble gum, and malt.  There are also some subtle floral aromas as well.  The mouthfeel is light-bodied, crisp, and smooth.  There is a light, syrupy stickiness as well you feel on the back of the tongue.  More of a commerical Belgian ale, the Leffe Blonde is very drinkable with more mellow flavors compared to the Trappist Belgians, but it is style complex and well-balanced.  It almost has more of a hefewiesen or wit beer thing going on.  Fairly sweet, light, and refreshing, you have to be somewhat careful throwing this one back as the ABV measures in at 6.60%.  The crisp and refreshing qualities of the Leffe Blonde definitely make for a good pairing to "Who Are You."

"Who Are You" was released in August of 1978 and is The Who's 8th studio album.  Sadly, this would be the last album to include all 4 original members as Keith Moon would die twenty days after the release of the album.  A commercial success, "Who Are You" is an interesting album in that Pete Townshend wrote it in an attempt to fuse the antipodal styles of punk rock and progressive rock.  It also showcases some of the most intricate and complicated song structures the band would attempt.  Along with the traditional instruments used, "Who Are You" finds the band incorporating more synthesizer (Townshend would spend hours just programming his ARP 2600 synthesiser for the album) and vocalist Roger Daltrey assisting with percussion to make up for Moon's limited playing due to his failing health from severe alcoholism. (Ironically, the drums were completely removed from "Music Must Change" as Moon was unable to play in 6/8 time on the track.)  Despite the problems with Moon and other problems with the band's dynamic, "Who Are You" is a fantastically rich, complex, yet listenable and poppy album.  Songs like opener "New Song," the rocking "Had Enough," the spacey "905," the complex and catchy "Sister Disco," the sexually charged and humorous "Trick Of The Light," and (a favorite Who track of mine) the iconic title track are all wonderful and timeless tracks of musical brilliance. 

Such a great album!  And a great beer!  And a great pairing!  Cheers!!

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